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  • Writer's pictureTullipStudio Team

Step-by-Step to Register a Book Copyright

What is a copyright?

Copyright is an intellectual property that automatically belongs to someone who has created an original work such as a song, movie, software, books, etc. Each copyright provides its owner the right to reproduce the work in many copies and in a unique form, distribute the copies and financially earn from each sale that is earned, perform, and/or display the work to the public.

Or the definition defined by the U.S Copyright Office, a copyright is a form of protection for authorships of original works.

What does copyright not protect?

Unfortunately, the ideas of your work aren’t protected by copyright unless it’s has been made. For instance, you have an idea to create a story for a children’s book. That idea itself cannot be protected unless you have turned that idea into a children’s book. Facts cannot be protected either because it’s not an original work. Title and short phrases because it will be hard to find the originality requirements. Same as common things that have been in the public for too long, such as words, short phrases, a name, a color, a list of ingredients, or familiar symbols.

When does the copyright start?

For all the works that have been created after the 1st of January 1978, copyright protection is automatically protected to every work that has been created and fixed into physical form or through the assistance of a machine or device. Simply, copyright starts when the computer file has been saved, the ink on the paper is dried, or the artist has put down the brush.

In other words, there is no need for any artwork to be registered to have the work copyrighted. As long as the artwork has been created into physical form or through the assistance of a device such as a CD player or computer. The main rule is that the person who created the work will automatically obtain copyright protection from the moment of creation.

What is a registered copyright?

Is an original work that you’ve created originally and getting it registered on an official copyright office such as the U.S Copyright office. The reason behind it is to make a public record of ownership rights to your work and let people informed that you are the creator of that work. In another word, a registered copyright is like insurance of your works.

For instance, you’ve created a book but you didn’t register that piece of work officially and someone out there trying to break your intellectual property. You won’t be able to sue them and claim that is your original piece in court because it is unregistered and not listed as your piece of intellectual property.

Why should I register for copyright if the protection is automatic?

Even though every work will automatically get copyright protection from the moment of creation, registering a copyright is a legal formality to make your work known publicly and able to be accessed by the public. Here are some outstanding reasons to have your copyright registered;

  • Registered copyright claim will be easily identified by public

  • For some circumstances, before obtaining certain royalties, every work must have a copyright registered

  • Before an infringement suit can be claimed in court, it is mandatory to have a registered copyright

  • For a lawsuit case, registered copyright creates an assumption that the ownership claim is valid

  • Registered copyright will be protected against the illegal importation copies

How does the protection of copyright works?

As the author of the original work, you will own these 4 exclusive rights to your work, such as

  • The right to distribute copies of your work

  • The right to recreate the work in original version/form

  • The right to reproduce or make copies of your work

  • The right to perform or display your work publicly

These copyright protections mean you have the full power to do anything to your work and avoid other people doing the same unless there is a mutual understanding and agreement between you and the other side who are going to purchase the copyright’s license.

Step-by-Step to Register a Book Copyright

To get copyright registered, first thing heads over to Then follow these simple steps ahead;

1. Go to the “Registration” Tab then Click on “Literary Works”

2. Scroll down, and you’ll see “Register a Literary Work”. Click on it.

3. Then you’ll need to log in to a U.S Copyright Office account. Or if you don’t have it yet, we recommend you to register it first.

4. After logging in, go to “Copyright Registration” and click on “Register a New Claim”.

5. After that, click on “Start Registration”

6. Complete filling out the form

7. Pay the fee for copyright, for online registration, it’ll cost USD 35, and paper registration cost USD 50.

8. Finally, you’ll just need to wait for the paperwork to be completed. Could take a few months for this process to complete.

How long does a copyright last?

For every work that has been created after the 1st of January 1978, then the copyright will last for the life of the creator/author and +70 years after their death. For a joint work created by more than one person, the copyright will last for the life of the last surviving joint creator/author and another +70 years after the last survivor’s death. After that, there will be no renewal copyright.

International Copyright

The United States government has mutual copyright relations with 171 countries all over the world. Under these arrangements, each country will honor the other’s citizen's copyright and will no longer need to re-register in other countries.


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